Today's suggested table topic: unsolicited advice -- what has been your experience? (The comments are offered below in random and anonymous order):
On facebook an academic artist (a college professor) was continually advising me about my paintings and drawings. I never asked for his advice, and I wasn't a big fan of his work. I had painted a painting that was predominately green.. it was a landscape and he wrote: This looks like Pea soup… In a bowl! (Laughter)! Another person came along and wrote "and the tree is like a sprig of broccoli!" (Laughter)! I confess..in retrospect....they were both right.
Most the time people just say "beautiful painting"! as they are walking by. I recognize that they haven't really even looked at the painting, they just are giving me a cursory comment. I take most everything said to me with a grain of salt. I consider who is it making the comment.
I take in all the advice. Even if I don't agree with it, I certainly listen to it.
I listen to it too. If I don't like it that might be the very reason I need to listen to it. There may be a kernel of truth in what they are saying to me.
Once I was told by someone that I was "too French". (Laughter)! I tried after that to become "gritty", but it wasn't in me. I recognized that I am someone who likes pretty things. My biggest problem is I have unsolicited advice ...from myself! (Laughter)! I can get tied up in knots about what I am doing. Sometimes my voice is gets too loud and it dampens my spirit.
I was painting downtown in an event and a man came up to me and said "it's too dark, it's too dark"! (Laughter)! However, I sold that painting. I think that the best war stories come from this advice situation. My mom actually told me that she thought I should "add glitter" to my snow scenes! (Laughter)!
I had a visitor to my studio who said (while pointing to what I was doing and then pointing to the wall) "that looks so much better than that". (Laughter)! I didn't understand what she meant ---does she mean that my paintings "before" look terrible and now they look okay? (Laughter)!
I get lots and lots of comments. The comment I hear over and over is something like "she's left-handed"! (Laughter)! I just wonder why everyone wants to know "how long did that take you"?. Of course I say something like "40 years and two hours" (Laughter)! Some people get that and some people don't.
When I am with my peers I listen more. However, last year my peers were telling me A LOT of what I should and shouldnt be doing. I don't have the guts to say "you know what ...I'm not going to do that". (Laughter)! I just listen respectfully. Once I did do exactly what someone told me to do and I thoroughly ruined my painting. I learned from that! Laughter.
I hate to say it, I know I've said it before, but painting can be likened to a golf game. Someone can come over during your game and say "just turn your hand over this way"... Well, but then if you go to do that you screw up. I had a painting in a show downtown. The subject was music legends. A guy said to me "This painting makes no sense"! He was actually kind of mad about it. He was all twisted up about whether or not all the people in the painting should be dead or not! (Laughter)!
I was at a scenic place painting outside and an entire family came up. The dad came over to me and said "Don't you know you are not supposed to have the sun on your canvas"? (Laughter)! Then the wife and children came over one by one to apologize for him. "Sorry" they all said...."he thinks he knows everything" (Laughter)! Another time a man came over to me and said "You're going to be really good someday"...and then he gave me a dollar! (Laughter)!
I think I am guilty of actually giving advice on occasion. I don't mind getting advice.
I haven't had much advice given to me for my painting. Perhaps it is because I don't paint very much outdoors. I am not a target. I have been given advice on other matters though. People used to tell me I should buy a Pinto car. (Laughter)!
I have been asked if I shouldn't put a deer in there "somewhere". (Laughter)! The thing is I realize and recognize is that these people mean well.
I do give advice. It is an attempt to connect. And I figure if someone saying something to me, no matter what, they are engaged. Some people, however, intentionally try to throw you! They try to heckle you! You have to have a thick skin for that! The best advice really comes from kids. They don't have a filter. They have that sense of wonder. A kid once said to me "the water is not that color" And he was right!. Other eyes can really help. I accept all this, it's part of the game.
I don't do much outdoors work. I did have a comment once that really threw me for a loop. The person said "you should do postcards". (Laughter)! I mean.... you should do postcards!?? I quit for a while over that comment. Everyone should be careful about what they say in the way of advice to others.
Really no one has bothered me about my work. But I do have a grandson who said to me one time "grandma that looks really professional". And I said to him, "well do you mean my other work previously has not looked professional"? And he answered "grandma you have done some really bad ones". (Laughter)!
I was painting at Sauvie Island.. I was on Rittenour Road. I think the only people on Sauvie Island are birders, hunters and painters. I had a hunter come up to me and say "You know, if you put a couple of ducks in there and you come over to our convention you'll sell that". (Laughter)! I also had a photographer come up to me and say "I'm a plein air photographer". (Laughter)!
I think of myself an arts communicator. So if a person has a response, any response, it is a compliment. I was told one time if you want a really good critique ask the UPS man. Because the UPS man is not educated in the arts, he is a regular Joe. He will tell you the truth. It's just another tool. Another way to look at it... it's like when you're at dinner, someone offers you a piece of bread… And you have the option of taking the bread or letting the bread go by. This is the same with an unsolicited remark. You can take it in and consider it or you can just let it go by.
I was sketching in a really out-of-the-way place. I put myself where I thought no one would find me (intentionally). It was over 100° that day. As I was sketching I heard footsteps coming up the path. (Oh brother, I thought) then I looked over and there was a girl about 11 years old approaching me. When she reached me she said "Are you thirsty"? and she offered me water. (collective awww).
I really don't care anymore what people say to me while I'm painting. I am really impervious to commentary.
A friend of mine and I were painting near a golf course. My friend said to me ..."you know we could put our paintings in the bathroom of that clubhouse with our business cards and prices attached". (Laughter)! I replied well, but what if they don't want us to put our paintings in the bathroom of the clubhouse? (Laughter)! It was just such a crazy thing to say!
I (Celeste) brought in a landscape painting and a sketchbook with some new ink drawings.
Stephanie, Diane and Lisa went to the Tacoma Museum to see the Georgia O'Keeffe and Western art show. They tell us it was fabulous! We should arrange to get there! It is just a few hours drive and well worth it.
Stephanie brought in two recent plein air paintings.
Peggie has been taking classes with Jennifer Diehl. She brought in two still life paintings.
Diane brought in a pastel and some pastel starts.
Kristina brought in a landscape.
Leslie brought in a portrait. She is having a show at the artist repertory theater.
Susan brought in three paintings she said I'm trying to capture spring in her home location.
Diane enjoyed the Tacoma Museum show. She has been painting metal.
Dave brought in a new painting.
Tedd brought in a figurative painting
Eunice brought in the painting that she did in Joanne Mehl workshop.
Tim brought in two landscape paintings (Chinook Landing)
Thomas brought in a seascape
Charlie brought in a colored pencil painting.
Brenda brought in a painting started in California and completed in her studio.
Kathy brought in two Mandalas that she did a while back...she said that painting them was very "freeing".
Jeanne Chamberlain brought in a recent plein air seascape and she showed us her modified wet canvas carrier.
Jennifer Diehl brought in a recent plein air painting from Lake Oswego
Annie took Eric Jacobsen's workshop. She brought in the painting that she did in the workshop and another that she did after the workshop
Za told us about the Olmstead event. She had a wonderful time. She said that it was it's in an exquisite event. It was very well organized, beautiful and nonstop fun. Za won "best figure in landscape". (Applause)! She said there was red dots everywhere. She highly recommends this event for anyone interested in the future. Thanks for the great report Za...(and for the extra-comical story that you know only if you came to the meeting today).
Carrie Holst has been working in acrylic. She's working exclusively in her sketchbook right now.
Jennifer Diehl has a plein air workshop at OSA. She is also going to have another workshop at the Lawrence Gallery July 31 through August 2. The Lawrence gallery is in Sheridan.
Brenda Boylan and JM Broderick are having a show at the Brian Marki--- there is a first Friday celebration.
Kathy Johnson brought in information about the Lavender festival. The judges are Amiee Erickson and Marla Bagetta. Marla will be giving a workshop. The reception will be July 10.
Brenda is offering a pastel workshop in June.
Studio 30: draped figure next Friday.
Photos of the Olmstead event that Za participated in is here: (Congratulations, Za, on your award)!
Za offers two workshops this year:
Kristina has work in the Emerald show in Eugene the reception is tomorrow.
Leslie Elder art at the Artist's Repertory theater (reception date to come): http://www.artistsrep.org/default.aspx
Tedd is the curator for a new show at the US Bank in September. (In the Pearl). This will be a portrait show hosted by the Oregon portrait society. There will be more information coming about this
The Thursday drawing Club Med at Medley tea. The results on the front page.
Here is a note from Ned Mueller about Tilbury:
Tilbury has been going on for about 5 years now and many of us artist types look forward to it each year. The folks putting it on bend over backwards to give us great costumes and props each year with horses, chickens, dogs and cats thrown in. Each year seems better than the last and it is a great place to get material to paint from and to have setups there to paint from. There is usually about 8 or more models to choose from and you can ask any of them to pose as you wish. Check out the first attachment above for details on the event and I have included a few other photos from a past event. No where else can you find such wealth of models, material and fun for the cheap price of $60 or $65. I hope to see you on May 9th! Best Regards, Ned
(click to Enlarge)
Next meeting Thursday, May 7 suggested table topic: Negative or Neutral space...are you good at accounting for it? What can you tell us about it?